Skip to main content

Full text of "Come to Jesus. : come by prayer"

See other formats



Though you cannot tee Jesas, you can speak to him. You 
can pray. God has permitted, and even commanded us to do 
this. How great a privilege to be allowed to speak to God. 
" Call upon me in the day of trouble." " Watch and pray." 
'' Pray without ceasing." Prayer requires no fine, well-arrang- 
ed sentences. The simplest utterance of your heart's desire is 
prayer. Those desires themselves, unbreathed, are prayer. You 
need not wait until you can enter a church to pray ; you may 
pray everywhere. And Jesus is always waiting for the prayers 
of poor sinners ; so that not one ever escapes his notice. His 
ear is always open. It is difficult to speak to kings and princes; 
they can only be seen sometimes, and then only a few persons 
are permitted to come near them. But all may come with their 
petitions to Jesus, however poor and despised, and at all times 
too. Whatever good things you want for the soul, pray. For 
pardon, for a new heart, for faith, for holiness, for comfort, pray. 
You cannot pray in vain. You may be sure of such prayers be- 
ing answered. There are some things which even God cannot 
do. He cannot sin, and he cannot refuse to listen to a poor sin- 
ner's prayer, for he has promised. " Ask, and it shall be given 
you," said Jesus ; and his word declares, " He cannot deny 
himself." Be then encouraged to pray. However vile and help- 
less you th nk you are, you are not too bad to pray. Pray, if 
you can only utter such a petition as this, " Save, Lord, or I 
perish." Make a habit of prayer. Find some place where you 
can be alone! "When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and 
shut the door." Rise before the work of the day begins, that 
you may have time to pray. Lay open your heart before God. 
Tell hirn bow vile, and helpless, and wretched you are. Con- 
fess your sins, and cry for pardon. Read the Bible, aDd ask for 
that holiness which is commended there. Say, "Lord, lam 
ignorant, teach me. My heart is hard, soften it. Convert me by 
thy H oly Spirit. Help me to coroe to Jesus— to believe, love, 
and obey him. Save me from sin, arid fit me for heaven." And 
let your heart throughout the day often ascend to God, even 
while engaged in your necessary labor. ''Pray without ceas- 
ing." If the answer does not seem to come at once, pray on, 
and success is certain. A praying soul can never be lost. You 
cannot perish while you are sincerely calling upon Jesus, say- 
ing, " Lord, have mercy upon me a sinner." 



It is wonderful that creatures so sinful as we are should be 
allowed to pray at all. When we consider what we. are, and 
what God is, we may well tremble when we come to him, and 
fear lest he should rejectus. But he has encouraged us to come, 
even with " coldness, to the throne of grace." This does not 
mean that we are to come without deep reverence and humility, 
but that we are to pray with a full persuasion that God will an- 
swer us. There are many examples of answers to prayer. He- 
zekiah prayed, and the army of Sennacherib was smitten with 
death. Elijah prayed, and fire crime down to consume his sa- 
crifice. The apostles prayed, and the Holy Ghost descended on 
them with mjraculous gifts. The church prayed, and Peter was 
delivered from prison by an angel. We are not to expect that 
all we ask for respecting this life will be given us, for we often 
desire what would do us harm. We may be sure, however, that 
God will give us what is best. But when we pray for blessings 
for our souls — for pardon, and holiness, and salvation — we may 
be quite certain of being answered ; for we are told, that if we 
ask any thing according to God's will, he heareth us ; and we 
are also told, that God is "willing that all men should be sa- 
ved." Jesus said, " Ask, and it shall be given ;" and, "What- 
soever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do." He prays for 
us. Our best prayers are far too unworthy for God to notice, 
but he listens because Jesus pleads. If you wrole a petition to 
a king, but none at the palace knew you, and you were dressed 
in rags, and after doing 1 your best, the writing was covered with 
blots, would you not fear that you would never be admitted, or 
if you were, that the petition would not be read? But suppose 
the king's son were to come, and say, "I will present your pe- 
tition myself, and ask my father to grant it." Jesus does this. 
He presents our feeble prayers, and says, •' For my sake, bless 
this poor sinner, and grant his request." And we are told that 
" him the Father heareth always." •• He ever liveth to make 
intercession," Trembling, mourning sinner, rejoice. You have 
si Friend at court. However unworthy your petitions are, Jesus 
prays for you, and Ms prayers always prevail. What more can 
you need to encourage you ? Come then with "boldness lo the 
throne of grace, that you may obtain mercy, and find grace to 
help in time of need." 

See 1 Kings, 18 .■ 21-39 ; 2 Kings, 19 ; Matt. 7 : 7-11 ; John 
14: 13, 14; 17; Acts 1 : 13, 14; 2: 1-4; 12 : 5-17; Heb. 
4; 14-10; 7 : 25 ; 1 John, 5 : 14. 



In the New Testament we read very much about faith. We 
are said to be "justified by faith," and "saved by faith," and 
are told to " believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, that we may be 
saved. Faith is confidence, reliance. If I am hungry, and a 
kind friend offers me something and says it is bread, but it is 
dark, and I cannot see, yet, if I begin at once to eat it, this is 
faith. I trust in his word. If I am sick, and medicine is given 
me which I am told will do me good, and I drink it, this is faith. 
I believe or have confidence in the doctor's skill. Jesus came 
into the world to die for sinners, He says, " Believe in me. I 
have purchased a full pardon for you, and you may go free. It 
cost my own blood to obtain it, but you are freely welcome to it. 
If you will obey my words, and trust in my protection, I will 
engage to save you from death and hell : I am quite able to do 
this. Here is bread to eat, which will make you live for ever if 
you eat it : here is a medicine which will so cure your soul's 
sickness that you shall never die. Come unto me — believe in 
me, and you shall be saved." Faith is just trusting to what Je« 
sus says. Faith is simply coming to Jesus. He has died for 
thee. Believe it, and take the benefit of his dying. He has 
opened the prison door for thee. Believe it, and make thine es- 
cape. He is willing to bear thy burden for thee. Believe it, and 
cast thy sins upon him. He has paid all thy debts. Rejoice. 
He brings salvation to thee, says, " It shall be thine, if thou 
art willing." Stretch forth thy hand, and take :t with a grate- 
ful heart. Like the prodigal in the parable, thou hast wander- 
ed far from home; but Jesus has obtained for thee permission 
to return. Thy father, for his sake, is willing to welcome thee 
back. Believe it, and say, "I will arise, and go to my Father." 
You desire to be trusted by your husband, or wife, or children ; 
you would feel hurt by their doubting your word. So Jesus 
wishes to be believed when he saj's, " Poor sinner, I am able 
and willing to save thee. Come unto me." Do not grieve him 
by distrusting his word. If you do not come, because you think 
you are too great a sinner, 3'ou say, in effect, that he is not able 
to save you, though he tells us "he is able to save to the ut- 
termost all who come." You make him a liar. Believe that 
he really will do what he promises. Go to him at once. Say 
to him, li Lord, I believe ; help thou mine unbelief. Thou art 
able to save to the uttermost — save me." 

See John 3 : 14-18 ; Acts 16 ; 36, 31 ; Romans 5:1; He- 
brews 11. 



Pekhaps you say, " How can I, who am so vile a sinner, ven- 
ture to come near the holy Jesus ? Will he permit such a wretch 
to approach him ? Must I not wail till I am more fit?" Dear 
fellow-sinner, your very sinfulness is your best fitness. What 
you think to be a hinderance is your best encouragement ; for 
"Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners," and there- 
fore to save such as you. "I came not to call the righteous, but 
sinners to repentance." Not that there are any who are really 
righteous, but there are many who think themselves so, and 
such persons will never be received by Christ. We most como 
to him in our true character, if we come at all. We are great 
sinners. We have broken God's laws. We have indulged in 
wickedness in our hearts, as well as in open conduct ; we have 
quenched the Spirit, and despised the love of Jesus. Everything 
we do is full of imperfection. We cannot make ourselves pure. 
And if we come to Jesus pretending we are righteous, we only 
mock him. Instead of thinking we are " rich, and increased in 
goods, and have need of nothing," we must come as those who- 
are " poor, and miserable, and blind, and naked." Thus we- 
must come to Jesus, and confess our unwnrthiness. In one of 
his parables he spoke of a self righteous man, who thanked God 
that he was better than others; and of a broken-hearted peni- 
tent, who did not venture to raise his eyes to heaven, but smote' 
upon his breast, saying, "God be merciful to me a sinner !" It 
was the.atter who went home pardoned and saved. And if we 
would be accepted by Jesus, mo must go to him in the same 
spirit, saying, "God be merciful to me a sinner/''' And we 
must not wait, thinking that we shall ever be more worthy. No, 
our souls are stained through and through with sin, and all our 
washing will never get rid of one dark spot. The blood of Christ 
alone can make us clean. We can never make ourselves better. 
We must come to Jesus to make us better; jind till then nothing 
is done. Our very first duty is to come to Jesus. Comethen t 
poor sinner. Wait not another moment, foolishly thinking you 
will be more fit by and by. You will netfer be more fit, and ne- 
ver more welcome, than at this moment. Jesus knows, far bet- 
ter than even you do, how sinful and vile you are ; yet he does 
not say, t' Wait," but " Come." Come then, with all your sins 
und weakness, and hardness of heart, come to Jesus. Como as 
a sinner, and come just as you are. 

See Psalm 51 ; Matt. 9 : 10-13 ; Luke 18 ; 9-14 ; 1 Tim. 1 : 
15 ; Rev. 3 : 17, 18.